Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mommy and Avery went to the farm

We had a gorgeous warm and sunny day on Tuesday, so Avery and I went to visit my best friend Jen in her new (old) house. She, her husband and her son, Walker have moved into the original farmhouse built in the 1700's of the family farm- Maplewood Farm in Portsmouth, RI.

We tromped through the fields and picked red potatoes, sunflowers, wildflowers and pumpkins. Avery and Walker took turns pulling a wagon filled with all our goodies. We also explored a deserted deer den, visited Aunt Judy and daydreamed about building a tree fort in one of the many trees in Walker's new backyard. A perfect fall afternoon!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Must Read!

Just found this great post over on Hazelnut Cottage- the perfect post for us aspiring artists/busy moms!

I am taking her advice, and I won't beat myself up about the fact that I have nothing of value to add, but I just wanted to share this link!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Six years ago today

39 weeks pregnant with the baby we'd been praying for, trying for for 3 years. I had a doctor's appointment, fingers crossed that there was some progress, but I came home and reported to Ed "no change". He was working the 11-8 shift so we had time to have breakfast together before he left- I made fried eggs sandwiches. "I'm gonna go lay down, I don't feel so hot, maybe I shouldn't have eaten eggs" I told him. He kissed me and left for work. I napped until around 2, still not feeling so hot, I called the doctor, told her my symptoms and she said I should go take a non-stress test at the hospital. I told her I'd wait for Austin to get home off the bus and then head over. 3:45 and Austin is off the bus. I had packed a backpack full of crayons, paper, juiceboxes and his favorite collection of Dr. Seuss to help him stay occupied while we waited around at the hospital. Quickly we discovered the reason for my "upset stomach". Apparently I'd gone into labor within minutes of leaving my doctor's appointment that morning and was already at 8cm!

I called Ed and told him to come to the hospital, I was being checked in. He asked "should I finish my shift?" LOL! Not unless you want your son to be born before you get here! (Silly man!)

And so together, my brave little Aussie and I waited for Papa (and Aidan) to arrive. Aus kept me company by reading "Horton Hears a Who". "Such a good big brother he's going to be!" I thought to myself (and so he is). Papa arrived and gave kisses all around, Nana arrived and took Austin home for some dinner and relaxing time- they'd come back when the baby was born- Then at 10:17pm Aidan Michael Beaulieu joined our family.
Darling, sweet Aidan with your glowing blue eyes and infectious giggle. You make our lives so much richer, so much sillier and so filled with happiness. I love you more than the moon and the stars in the sky, my big boy! Happy 6th birthday! Love, Your Mama

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Embracing Autumn

Okay well not really but making the best of it! I am a beach girl, that's the plain and simple of it- I hate cold weather, I hate sniffles and shorter hours of daylight. New England is not the place for me from October to May!

That being said, I am trying to put up my brave face and greet the chilly weather looking fabulously stylish. I treated myself today to a bit of shopping for some pretty new clothes appropriate for cool weather. Have a looksie:

Finally found a pair of flat leather boots (everything in the stores seem to have death heels on them!) from Piperlime and they're on sale right now!

Then last night my new Soul-Flower fall catalog arrived so I had to do a little shopping from there as well- If you've never shopped them, Soul Flower is really cool, they are eco friendly, sell Fair Trade items and I love the uniqueness of their pieces!
Here is a taste of what I bought from them:

And then good old Gap and Old Navy- I found this dress in my local store on sale for $4.50, so I got it in brown and navy blue.

The tights are from and I think they'll be cute with my new boots and the dresses above!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Neighborhood Phantom!

If you live in a neighborhood with easy to walk streets and lots of families, this is a cute little thing to do with your kids!

Good Evening!

You've just been haunted by the Neighborhood Phantom!

Since this is the time for goblins and bats, for Halloween spirits, for ghosts and cats, for weird happenings and witches' brew, these are the things that I wish for you...

May the only spirit you chance to meet be the spirit of love and friends warm and sweet. May the only goblin that comes your way be this Neighborhood Phantom you must give away.

"T'is much better to give than to receive" goes the old verse and something this easy won't empty your purse. It's your turn to pass along a treat and a BOO because now the Neighborhood Phantom is little old YOU!

So by this time in 3 days, pick three friends sweet, and give to them each a Halloween treat. You have only 3 days- so you'll need to hurry- Leave a treat on the doorstep, ring the bell and then scurry!

Signed, The Phantom

The phantom visited us on Saturday evening and I went to the dollar store this afternoon to gather some goodies for the phantom to deliver to three other families. The boys had a ball picking out what to give and which houses to drop them off at!

Full instructions and printable versions of the phantom and the poem are available at

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The Beaulieu family got into the Halloween spirit yesterday and decked the house with punkins o plenty and even a "pooky pider"! (as Avery calls it) Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where Have I Been?

The other day I posted this picture on FLICKR:

It shows some sachets I made to sell at The Shops at Fabian House. Tara commented over there, "Take a moment and blog all your new crafty goings on will you? :)" Even the smiley face emoticon could not sooth the harsh reality that I have been a horrible bloggy partner! I popped over here today to post, and it took me three clicks on "older posts" to come to my last entry, posted exactly 2 months ago.

Holy Cow! I had no idea I was THAT bad! I knew I was living a little bit of a whirlwind life, but 2 months???? I feel as if I have been spiraling out of control, and I need to regroup and try to get back to normal! So I will post here a little summary of what has been going on and what I have worked on, and hopefully turn over a new leaf and get back to posting!

My younger son started high school this fall at a school which is a bit of a commute for us. (Translation: On the worst traffic days I have spent 4 hours in the car!) We have spent a ton of time together in the car. He is playing Freshman Football, which has really changed our family's routines since we got back from vacation in August. I should probably work on a feature about meals that fit into our crazy schedule. I'll have to get some pointers from Tara on food photography- her photos are so great when she blogs recipes. (Notice me kissing up to Tara in hopes she will forgive my blog neglect!)

Since last spring I have been selling my items from I corner I rent within The Shops at Fabian House. I also sell some of Tara's sea glass jewelry and some quilts and fiber art items from a partnership with my friend Karen, which we call Chickadee Friends Studio. I work at least one day a week in the shop, which works out well since it is near my son's school. The shop has a really cool mix of antiques, handcrafted items, and even a vegetarian cafe in the back! They serve a fabulous cup of coffee, and I am definitely addicted.

I am still most definitely making stuff nearly daily. I do not always take photos, especially if it is something that will go into the shop, and not online. Often I take quick photos on my keyboard or on the work table, just to post some photos to show Tara on FLICKR or others on Facebook. I will try to do better, maybe my next post needs to be about time management for football moms who taxi kids.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weekend goings on

So we're doing yard work this weekend and my brother finally came over with his chainsaw to take down the ginormous pine tree that obscured half my house and a portion of my driveway. Ed and Austin provided manual labor. Tomorrow we rototill new flower beds!
No birds were harmed in the cutting down of this tree or in the nest removing. It was an abandoned nest- which Aidan will happily take to Show & Tell on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another dinner recipe, folks! Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

I hope you all aren't sick of me and all my recipes lately. I've been on a cooking kick and while I have been crafting -mostly working on Christmas ornaments this week-, the ornaments are all still works in progress and dinner is something I can show a tangible result from every night. So as I come up with new food stuffs to try, I like to share them with you!

This week at my local Stop and Shop they are having a sale on red bell peppers: 10 lbs for $10. Red peppers are a staple in my house and I jumped at the chance to buy a bunch as I normally buy one large one and try to eek at least two dinners out of it. So because I now had 5 giant peppers left from my massive purchase on Saturday, I decided I'd give stuffed peppers a try. Now let me preface this by saying I HATE traditional stuffed peppers. I grew up with soggy green peppers jammed with bland white rice, tomato sauce and ground hamburg. Bleck! (Sorry if I offend anyone.) So as a wife and mom, I've never once made this meal for my family.

I figured there had to be a way to make these dern things taste better so I set to work coming up with a plan- the result are below.

There are quite a few ingredients and steps to these but they were so flavorful and I think if you've got a little bit of time to play around in the kitchen, they're well worth the effort! None of the steps are hard and the ingredients are all easily found at any grocery store.

5 large red bell peppers, 1/2'd lengthwise and seeded
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (not in casings)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp Tuscan sea salt*
1/2 tsp beef base or boullion granules
1 1/2 cups "cheesy rice" (recipe to follow below)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese mix
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 roasted red pepper (from a jar), diced
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbsp (approx 5-6 leaves) fresh basil, chopped
1 cup diced tomato, drained
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow onion and garlic, cook until onion becomes translucent. Add sausage and cook until browned. Drain on papertowels and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine feta, shredded cheese, sour cream, parmesan, roasted red pepper, basil and Italian seasoning.

In a larger mixing bowl combine cheesy rice, diced tomato and green onion. Then add the feta/sour cream mixture to the rice and finally, add the sausage mixture and fold mix until combined well.

Arrange pepper halves in a casserole dish and fill with stuffing mixture. Add vegetable stock to the bottom of the casserole dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil, spoon stock over the tops of each pepper and cook an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Finish off by turning on the broiler for 2 minutes to put a nice brown on everything.

Served with tossed salad and homemade croutons (very easy, recipe for that another day, lol!)

Special thanks to Maggie for introducing me to what my kids have dubbed "cheesy rice" Original Recipe. And thank you to my dear Lexi for my beautiful gift of Tuscan Sea Salts!

*Tuscan sea salt is a blend of large granule sea salt and traditional Tuscan herbs such as rosemary, sage and oregano. If you can't find this at your local market, substitute with 1 tsp plain sea salt combined with 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning

Cheesy Rice Recipe:

2 tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/3 cups white rice (not instant)
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup paremesan cheese

Melt butter over medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, add rice and brown for 3-4 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock and black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered and let stand for 5 minutes. Finally, add parmesan cheese and stir well to combine.

Like I said, there are a lot of steps to this- but it went pretty quick for me; I had exactly a cup and 1/2 of the cheesy rice in my fridge from dinner two nights ago and the can of diced tomatoes were opened last night for my crock pot enchiladas, so I was able to use up some fridge leftovers. You can certainly substitute other types of stock, onions, cheeses etc throughout this recipe to accomodate your family's tastes and what you have in your fridge/cupboards to keep the cost down. This only cost me $10 to make because I keep many of the ingredients on hand in my pantry.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Crock Pot Enchiladas?!

Yes! And OMG are they delicious! I have to thank Stephanie O'Dea and her fab blog A Year of Slow Cooking for inspiring this recipe. Her kids are right, it sorta does look like vomit (ewww, I know, LOL) but in my opinion -and my family's- this is better than my traditional enchiladas rolled and baked in the oven!

Her (gluten free/made with chicken) enchilada recipe can be found here. And this is my version done with whole wheat tortillas and beef.

2 cups of cooked beef (ground is fine- I happened to make some steak tips the other night and had plenty of that left over, so I diced it up small)
2 red peppers, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
2 10 oz cans green enchilada sauce
2 15.5 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 2 1/4 oz cans sliced black olives, drained
1 cup petite diced tomatoes with liquid (I opened a large can and will use the rest for tomorrow's dinner)
2 cups shredded cheese (I had a bit of an Italian mix and some cheddar in the fridge)
10 whole wheat tortillas (fajita size- you will use less if you have a round slow cooker)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Optional: sour cream for topping

Heat the olive oil over medium heat then add onions and red peppers. Cook until onions start to become translucent. Add cumin and salt, stir throughly and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine your beef and the 2 cans of enchilada sauce, set aside.

Put black beans into another bowl, add lime juice and toss to coat.

Now in your slow cooker, line the bottom with two tortillas (if you have the oval shape like mine; round shapes should use 1 tortilla per layer)

Next add 1/4 of the beef and sauce mixture, then 1/4 of your black beans, 1/4 of your pepper and onion mixture, 1/4 of the olives and finally a handful of cheese. Add another 2 tortillas and repeat the layering (lasagna style) until you get to the top layer. Your top layer should end with your final two tortillas on top, then spoon your diced tomatoes and liquid over them, add a final handful of cheese and put the cover on.

Cook on low for 6 hours and do not open the lid to peek or stir! The end result is a yummy, bubbly, cheese mixture with lots of flavor that even the pickiest kid will likely enjoy! We topped ours with sour cream, mmmmm!

Prep Time: 20 minutes- not bad! I made this in between errands and picking up Avery from preschool this morning. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pendants and a new bracelet design

New Jewelry 10/3/09
Originally uploaded by mornindew2822
Some more new seashell and pottery shard pendants I finished last night plus a brand new bracelet design- hand forged sterling silver hinged bangle style bracelet with seashell or pottery shard piece bezel set in sterling and fine silver.

All items in the photos are available at Copacetic in Providence, RI